Political Masturbation or Electoral Impotence?

It’s no big secret that I’ve kept one foot in the Republican Party door and one foot in the Libertarian Party door for the last decade or so. Sometimes, I’ve only had one toe remaining in the GOP door; lately most of my effort has been for the Ron Paul campaign. A combination of the recent downsizing of Ron Paul’s campaign, John McCain’s delegate total and CPAC attendence has me, once again, wondering whether I should focus my effort in the following year on LP masturbation or GOP impotence. Over drinks in one of our favorite Georgetown hangouts, I asked my wife whether such masturbation or impotence was preferable? Being a physician, she reminded me that most impotence can be treated with Viagra or similar medications. She is correct, of course. The choice, at least with national level electoral politics, seems to be between masturbation or castration.

I’m also, much to the chagrin of some of my fellow Ron Paul supporters, not much of a conspiracy theorist. However, Tom Knapp laid out a case last July where the GOP might, hypothetically, want Ron Paul to run as, and then lose as, a Republican.

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006: Karl Rove wakes up on the couch in his White House office, where he’s caught a couple of hours of sleep after a long night. His first order of business is to have a look at the latest vote totals from the previous day’s election. Those totals confirm the projections from before his nap—the Libertarian Party has “spoiled” elections in Missouri and Montana, costing the Republicans their already razor-thin majority in the US Senate.

Thanksgiving Weekend, 2006: Rove sits down for a post-Thanksgiving breakfast with several key party leaders to discuss “the Libertarian problem.” Over steak and eggs, it is decided that enough is enough: The Libertarian Party must be destroyed. Over the last four election cycles, LP candidates have cost the Republicans at least four Senate elections—one in Washington, one in South Dakota, and the two key seats in the 2006 election. And with 2008 looking bad for Republicans anyway, it’s definitely a good time to take out the trash.

What’s needed? A Republican candidate who’s well-positioned put the Libertarian Party down like a sick dog, with the assistance of the LP itself, or at least of the LP’s “base” of members, supporters and prospective candidates (and, as it has transpired in reality, with the financial support of the LP’s founder, at least two members of the Libertarian National Committee, and even the LP’s lawyer).

December, 2006: Ron Paul’s phone rings.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe Ron Paul’s Republican presidential campaign to be a bad thing for the libertarian political movement in general, and for the Libertarian Party in particular.

What I haven’t said before is that I believe that’s the point—that the objective of Paul’s campaign is the destruction of the Libertarian Party and the co-opting of the libertarian political movement by a political party which will never serve that movement’s goals.

My evidence for this belief? I admit that I don’t have much—when you get right down to it, there’s not a lot more evidence for this than there is for the belief of many Paul supporters that the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks, or that the Federal Reserve is a communist conspiracy.

Then again, if those conspiracy theorists are honest—if they find the evidence for what they believe convincing—then they’re going to have to believe this as well.

The “evidence,” of course, is mostly of the cui bono?—“who benefits?”—variety.

I never bought Knapp’s “theory,” but I’ve never forgotten the cui bono argument, either.

Almost seven months later and with the benefit of not having to prognosticate Paul’s electoral losses combined with Paul’s recent campaign message, Richard Mayhew makes pretty much the same case that Knapp did:

After the 2006 elections, it became clear to GOP strategists that the libertarians must be controlled. Their main question: “How do you heard cats?” Libertarians are fiercely independent and are notoriously suspicious of outside influence. The only way to gain their trust and then their vote, is to have one of their own serve as the pied piper.

Enter Ron Paul. [...]

Paul became a force within the liberty movement but was merely a nuisance to the GOP and the media. As his primary numbers proved, even the power of his grassroots Revolution could not influence the outcome of the Republican nomination.

Now as Super-Tuesday has passed, Ron Paul and his staff are in an awkward position of admitting that they cannot win the GOP nomination but they also cannot release their hold on supporters as they would likely move to the Libertarian Party or another minor party after being snubbed by the Republicans.

***

Last week, Paul accomplished that in a brilliant, Machiavellian move that allowed him to stay in the race for the presidency but redirect his supporters energy to changing the Republican party and, of course, helping him maintain his congressional seat in Texas.

In an e-mail to his supporters, Paul admitted that his “chances of a brokered convention are nearly zero.” He also said without ambiguity that he would not seek a third party run. His message also informed his base that he would be cutting down his campaign staff but still “fighting for our ideas within the Republican Party.” He closed by soliciting support for his congressional race in addition to his presidential campaign.

It was a brilliant political move.

***

He left his supporters scratching their heads on the meaning of the message but still firmly planted under the Paul and GOP banner.

If Ron Paul continues to string along his supporters until the Republican Convention in September, it will effectively dismantle the libertarian vote and the Libertarian Party. After September, the Libertarian Party will have no time to regroup as ballot access and filing deadlines would have long passed.

As a result, the Libertarian candidates that remain will make little impact on the 2008 elections, giving Republicans a fighting chance against their Democrat challengers.

The Ron Paul campaign may be known as own of the most successful political subversions of a large constituency in modern history. Some may call that “evil” but in the political strategy world, it was an amazing accomplishment.

Some people have suggested even more nefarious motivations for the Paul campaign. I’m not saying that Ron Paul’s move was part of some calculated GOP conspiracy, but as Knapp suggested, it is important to look at who benefits and who suffers in this particular case. Whether any conspiracy exists isn’t all that relevant; the impact of what has happened is critical, however.

I’m trying to look at all sides of these arguments and determine the best direction to move. At the moment, masturbation seems preferable to impotence, which is clearly preferable to the forced castration many in the Republican Party would impose upon both the libertarians and fiscal conservatives in the movement. And in the meantime, it looks like Americans will once again believe they are forced into the same choice they faced in 2004: A giant douche or a turd sandwich.

68 Responses to “Political Masturbation or Electoral Impotence?”

  1. matt Says:

    The Knapp hypothesis may or may not be an articulated strategy of the GOP brass, but even if it is, I don’t think it’s worked out exactly as planned. The people the Paul campaign has brought into the party are not party loyalists, nor will they ever be straight-ticket republicans. If they stay, they’ll split the GOP.

    If you are asking who benefits, the final answer might be the democrats or the LP, depending on whether the LP members reach out to the meetup groups or merely sneer knowingly and refuse to associate with such rabble.

  2. Phil Sawyer Says:

    Is this a joke also? Does Stephen Gordon really believe that the Republican Party is worried about the Libertarian Party? Most GOPers have not even realized yet that their Party will be a minor-sized Party by the year 2012. As far as they are concerned, the Libertarian Party has so little influence that it almost may as well not exist.

    In addition, what is with all the potty mouthing? In my humble opinion, Mr. Gordon needs to either wake up and smell the coffee or start an Anal Expulsive Caucus for deluded Libertarians.

  3. Don Lake Says:

    Probably the most important style of message you could have cranked out in America in the duopoly environment of 21st Century American politics….

  4. Hugh Jass Says:

    Well, that doesn’t make sense, because now, rather than having a interpartisan enemy, the Republicans have an intrapartisan enemy. Despite the Paulites making up only about 5-10% of the party as a whole, there is a good chance that Paul himself will not be the only Paulite elected to Congress by 2010.

  5. Eric Dondero Says:

    I our 1996 Campaign, immediately after we beat Laughling and won the GOP primary, for a period of a few weeks, we were working very closely with Karl Rove and Royal Massette. The two top Texas GOP consultants were very helpful to Ron Paul for Congress. There were numerous meetings during that time period between Rove and Ron Paul (and Mark Elam). I know they kept in contact long after 1996. Then President Bush even invited Ron to the White House on two occasions. So, your theory is not terribly far-fetched.

    Keep in mind, as well, that in 2000, the RNC got Ron to sign a letter to all the registered Libertarians in southern California Districts held by vulnerable Republican incumbents James Rogan and Brian Bilbray. Ron’s letter urged all Libertarians to back the Republicans in the general election, and “not waste their vote” on the LP candidate. Caused a furor in the LP at the time.

    With Ron Paul it’s always about the money. Follow the money trail and that will lead you to the truth.

  6. Dodsworth Says:

    Hmm….perhaps Eric is preparing to tell us the Karl Rove wrote the newsletters.

  7. Steven R Linnabary Says:

    Phil Sawyer asks: In addition, what is with all the potty mouthing?

    “A giant douche or a turd sandwich” is a reference to a South Park episode where the students were to elect a class president. One of my favorite episodes.

    PEACE
    Steve

  8. Rob Hodgkinson Says:

    While not as glib as Knapp and others - my gut had told me that something was not right with the Ron Paul situation. I have a post from June 07called “Ron Paul LP savior or saboteur?” http://kclibertarian.blogspot.com/2007/06/ron-paul-lp-savior-or-saboteur.html
    Where I touched on some of these (still unproven) thoughts.

    Steven - I agree masturbation seems preferable to impotence and in a small state like Kansas affecting the elections by being the vote difference in more and more races and starting to elect people at the lower levels of government as a third party—feels very good.

  9. Steven R Linnabary Says:

    mea culpa

    The episode was where the students were to elect a new school mascot.

    PEACE
    Steve

  10. Freddie L Says:

    “With Ron Paul it’s always about the money. follow the money trail and that will lead you to the truth.”

    Get real! Where does Ron Paul’s money come from? It comes from people like me who believe in the message of liberty. The message is out. Where it goes from here is up to the people who embrace it. If the LP was smart they would not write articles like this that p-o the “Paulites”. If someone of substance were to actually run in the LP, they would have just as much a chance as anyone else of winning an election! (Provided they can get some msm attention). Paul’s campaign is not about the man, it is the message. Get some sleep and then maybe you will see things differently.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Steve,

    I’m glad you never “bought” my theory, since, as I made clear in the comments, it wasn’t a “theory” in the first place, but rather a satirical application of the 9/11 “Truth” movement’s “logic” to the Ron Paul campaign, thrown out as bait to see who would bite:

    What does surprise me is that nobody seems to have realized yet that this article and the comment thread so far haven’t been intended so much as an attack on Paul as a demonstration of how conspiracy theory works.

    For the record, no, I don’t actually think it too likely that Rove really called Ron Paul and bought his soul. But on the standards of conspiracy theory, I can “prove” that he did by simply holding that the effects and beneficiaries of Paul’s campaign are the ones we would expect to see if he had.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  12. Eric Sundwall Says:

    Masturbation does make you feel better than impotence.

  13. Doug Craig Says:

    I not sure about any master plan. One thing will come of this is million of GOP people tainted with what we have. They have now been shown the path. I meet so many people who did not know what we are about (libertarians) now the our message has reach so many people . We may not get the full benifits this time around but this will help us move in the right direction. I took a group of Ron paul supporters to a GOP meeting (we had our meet up at the monthly meeting) we had the largest amount of people by 3 to1 over any other candidate. In defense of the local gop it made them happy to have such a large group at a monthly meeting. It showed me our we could effect the GOP. The meet up group is now working on getting me and a couple of other Paul supporters named as delegates to the GOP presidential convention. Only time will tell

  14. Fred C. Says:

    Dondero: as far as I know, there was no president Bush in 1996. Clarify which one under what circumstances, please?

    Regarding the article itself: Has the LP seen any tangible losses as a result of the Paul campaign? Has the GOP made tangible gains? So far, all I’ve seen demonstrated is that there’s very little room in the Republican Party for Ron Paul’s message - even after all the recruiting from outside the party. I still think this is going to end up being a net gain for the LP.

  15. Richard Says:

    I’ll play the part of the prude, but I think the analogies used here are totally inappropriate, and ineffective for that matter.
    Putting all that aside, I think your analysis is way off here. I doubt the Ron Paul campaign will have any negative impact on the Libertarian party. If anything, it puts water down the already widening cracks in the GOP base. It seems to me that any fracture of a mainstream party will pan-out beneficially for smaller political constituencies (like Libertarians). The real danger for the LP and every other party, is the cataclysmic growth and cohesion of the Democratic Party. Among other things, national social programs, the brainchild of the DP, foster an attitude of entitlement and dependency that spreads like a cancerous infection. Minority voter groups will continue to hold more power for the DP as social programs are expanded and dependency proliferated.

  16. Jay Chawla Says:

    I am at a loss. When the big news comes out soon and Bush is forced to resign for his high crimes against the American people, I think we will all need someone to rally around to heal the country. I think that man has to be John McCain, although I would certainly rather rally around Ron Paul. But I strongly sense that John McCain is a just man, and he will not protect George Bush from the consequences of his crimes.

  17. Nigel Watt Says:

    I’m unsurprised that Knapp meant this as a joke - it’s absurd.

  18. Matt Says:

    I don’t really care what be going down . . .

    The lesser of two evils is always an evil.

  19. Wes Benedict Says:

    Knapp said:

    I’m glad you never “bought” my theory, since, as I made clear in the comments, it wasn’t a “theory” in the first place, but rather a satirical application of the 9/11 “Truth” movement’s “logic” to the Ron Paul campaign, thrown out as bait to see who would bite:

    Wes says:

    I guess that makes Steve Gordon the “Master Bait Biter.”

  20. LibertarianRepublican. com Says:

    The Ron Paul campaign has done more to promote libertarian ideas in the last year than the LP has done in the last 30 years.

    Also, the following article was written prior to the launch of RP ‘08 but I interested in hearing feedback…
    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=18555

  21. Andy Says:

    “My evidence for this belief? I admit that I don’t have much—when you get right down to it, there’s not a lot more evidence for this than there is for the belief of many Paul supporters that the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks, or that the Federal Reserve is a communist conspiracy.”

    LOL! Unlike Knapp’s drug induced fantasy posted above, there actually IS evidence that 9/11 was an inside job, in fact, there is a mountain of evidence to suggest this. The candidate whom Tom Knapp claims to support - Steve Kubby - said that 9/11 looked like a false flag terror operation, and this view was also held by Aaron Russo and is held by Michael Badnarik, two more candidates that Tom Knapp supported. In fact, this is a view that is also held by some physics professors, architecs, engineers, demolitions experts, pilots, and many other people from all walks of life.

    As for the Federal Reserve, that was hatched in a conspiracy and can in fact still be considered to be a conspiracy to this day. This is all documented fact, not something made up by a delusional individual.

  22. Andy Says:

    “Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    February 10th, 2008 at 8:19 pm
    Steve,

    I’m glad you never ‘bought’ my theory, since, as I made clear in the comments, it wasn’t a ‘theory’ in the first place, but rather a satirical application of the 9/11 ‘Truth’ movement’s ‘logic’ to the Ron Paul campaign, thrown out as bait to see who would bite:”

    That’s pretty patchetic to make up a story to try to discredit facts that are real, such as WTC 7 going down in its own footprints at about the speed of gravity even though it was not hit by a plane and was on the opposite side of the WTC complex from the Twin Towers, and etc…

  23. Richard Says:

    “In fact, this is a view that is also held by some physics professors.”

    I was a physics major. one of my professors was an outspoken critic of America+9/11. He was asked to leave for a time…
    The school wanted to avoid negative publicity.

    Were you thinking of anyone in particular??

  24. Andy Says:

    Tom Knapp “logic”: Hey, the moon is made out of green cheese! See how stupid that is. This is proof that people who think that the JFK assassination was a part of a government conspiracy are nuts.

  25. stevec Says:

    This “theory” is assinine for a number of reasons….On any razor thin win or loss, to co - opt or difuse the spoilers is highly unlikely…..Granted LP vote totals may have been greater than the margin of loss for Rep candidates but…
    1) Is there any basis to believe that had there not been an LP candidate they would have voted Republican….They could just as well have voted Democratic, another minor party, or stayed home?
    2) The 1/2 percent parties only become a factor in razor thin elections….if the Republicans get blown out (a likely scenario) co - opting a few libertarians here or there aint gunna do shit.
    3) Many LPers joined the Rep Party ONLY to vote for RP. After the primary they can go back to RP…and those that stay will not vote for either a Rockefeller Republican or some Neo - Con….
    4) If there is a blow out…the Rep Party may be ripe for major changes, and that 7% or so “Ron Paul Republicans” might start trying to (slowly but surely) become a force in the LP….
    5) The LPers can break either to the right or the left…..if you want to break a third party, your best bet is the Constitution Party…they could break only to the right…albeit an anti - establishment factor in the GOP.

    Hey Gordon… Ya wanna Conspiracy Theory you can wrap your lips around like those smuggled Cubanos you posture with.. Okay, here goes….They want martial law….and their using the RP campaign to get a list of $200 or more donors…when it hits the and fan and its FEMA camp time, the names and addresses will be “high priority domestic terrorist threats” - they’ve used the RP campaign (and the public donors list) to “smoke us out” (pun intended)....

  26. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Andy,

    You write:

    “Unlike Knapp’s drug induced fantasy posted above, there actually IS evidence that 9/11 was an inside job, in fact, there is a mountain of evidence to suggest this.”

    Maybe so—but to my recollection it has now been more than a year since I asked you to actually provide some such evidence instead of merely insisting that it exists, and you have yet to do so.

    The belief of a number of people that something is or may be true does not indicate or prove anything except that those people believe it. It isn’t “evidence” that what they believe to be true is, in fact, true.

  27. Lex Says:

    LP registration in California dipped from 0.55% of the registered voters to 0.53% in the past year—not exactly a wholesale migration to Ron Paul and the Republicans. About 15,000 voted in the LP primary, vs. about 100,000 who voted for Ron Paul in the GOP primary.

    I think the Ron Paul campaign will be a net benefit to the LP. Some supporters will stay in the Republican party at least for a while, but a lot of new people were brought in, and many will back the LP candidate in November.

  28. Deran Says:

    I’m not a libertarian conservative (more a libertarian socialist), but, I have to say, I had the same thoughts yesterday.

    And I had this thought because I have had a similar opinion abt Kucinich and the Democratic Party after the 2000 election. Kucinich pops up every four years, runs for president, distracts the left, and by the time that happens it is too late to mount an serious progressive candidate as an independent.

    The main difference of course is that Paul’s campaign really made some waves. But I think the idea of the majors encouraging candidates to run with in their prinary system, so as to draw in voteers who might in reality think the majors are a swamp, but these “insurgents” get them all excited and distracted.

    Actually, I thin of Paul as being more “authentic” then Kucinich.

    I am not being mean here, but; I do wonder what additional committee assignments Paul might have secured fr next term.

    One last thing; the notion that Paul has at this time a serious primary opp[onent is a lie. BUT, I have no doubt the GOP basically came to him and said; If you carry this any further we are going to power money into a serious opponent to yo in your primary.

    Thus the real sticky wicket as far as working in the majors.

  29. Delling Says:

    There are 940 or so remaining delegates up for grabs. McCain needs over 400 of them to secure anything. Texas accounts for 140 delegates. That goes down on March 4th. Pennsylvania goes on April 22nd, a long time from now, and accounts for 88 delegates.

    So far Romney, McCain, Obama, Hillary and Huckabee have taken their home states.

    Hey, who just went home to Texas on the heels of some impressive finishes and with a load of cash? Who was born in Pennsylvania? I won’t go so far as to predict Ron will win both states, but I use similar patterns and such when rolling to victory in NCAA March Madness pools. What’s it gonna take for people to realize that anything is possible, for a 16-seed to win in the first round this year?

    Vermont? Aren’t they trying to impeach Bush and Cheney? Really think they are going to go with McCain? Vermont, Texas and Ohio, all on the same day, March 4th.

    There are also many caucuses remaining, such as in Idaho where Ron is sure to do well. Mike Huckabee is also carrying some momentum right now and is almost sure to cut into those 940 remaining delegates.

    Small chance of a brokered convention does not mean no chance. When looking at the states left and the time left, it’s hard to say that it couldn’t happen. McCain has been winning with some pathetically low numbers.

    I’m not gonna spell it out because it’s much more fun to piece it together yourself, but y’all aren’t out of this thing. Not by a long shot. March 4th men and ladies, march forth!

  30. badmedia Says:

    Eh well, it’s like this. I would have voted for a libertarian this election most likely. Don’t deny it a bit. Ron Paul did pull my interest towards him. But it’s not like I’ve forgotten the libertarian party.

    Furthermore, even more important is that the GOP has not gained my support overall. I wasn’t going to vote for the other candidates, I’m still not going to vote for the other candidates. The GOP had 1 chance to get my vote, it was Ron Paul. If they fail to nominate him, then they have lost my vote. So nothing here was gained.

    In fact, Ron Paul has helped me in getting the libertarian message out in sooo many ways. Not to mention the bias in the media as well. I am amazed at the number of people I know who voted for bush in 2000 and 2004 and are now Ron Paul supporters. And is it any wonder? It’s the same thing Bush talked about in 2000.

    I supported the LP in 2004. I knew what 1 and 2% felt like. I knew Ron Paul had more support than was being reported on back 9 months ago. I knew because of the amount of people in agreement with me. The people who were pro-bush in 2004 supporting Ron Paul now. And then that number climbed and climbed. And those people haven’t changed their minds. And if Ron Paul doesn’t win the GOP, then they are going to look for another candidate to vote for. And it ain’t gonna be a democrat either.

    So if that was their plan, it was a pretty dumb one, and they will experience blowback. I personally believe the entire thing is just a bunch of spin to get people to think Ron Paul is against them. Yet another plan to hurt Ron Paul. Because at any point have they allowed Ron Paul to do anything other than run? It’s always been word of mouth for the most part.

    The GOP is toast without Ron Paul. It’s clear as day. More than 70% are against the war, it was the reason the GOP is losing votes. Now, these articles you quote can blame the LP all they want as the reason the GOP is losing members. But anyone with a brain knows it’s because the conservatives aren’t being conservatives, they are being big government liberals. The LP just happened to be the party that picked them up.

    Personally, I think the GOP is losing and committing suicide on purpose. There is no difference in the democrats and republicans, they all follow the status quo. It’s been a 1 party system for along time. They just pass it back and forth to make people think it’s not. But what has changed overall since Clinton and Bush? What has been undone by Bush that Clinton did? Nothing, Bush only added on to them. The best way to win a game is to play both sides, and that is exactly what is going on here.

    Bush has an approval rating of less than 30%, congress less than 15%. And you want to tell me that the majority of Americans are voting for more status quo? That the republicans are voting for more of the same? That the GOP has a chance of winning when 70% of the people are against the war, with a candidate who wants 100 years of war? I’m not buying it. They can try to sell my crap all they want, but I don’t have to buy it.

    I was an independent thinker, and someone who votes on the issues, not on the politics or party lines before Ron Paul, and I am still that same person. These articles assume that the support was for the person of Ron Paul. They fail to realize and understand that it was the message and the issues. And no amount of spin is going to change that. The message is gaining momentum. Ron Paul only represents some of the people supporting that message.

  31. badmedia Says:

    And btw, the whole Karl Rove story sounds to me more like someone looking for excuses on things, rather than admitting the real reason the GOP is losing votes is because of the issues. No no, it’s not the issues, it’s that damn LP. If the LP wasn’t there, then we would get their votes! No, they left your party and joined the LP because you turned out to not do anything you said you would, and have adopted the very things which go against conservatism.

    The biggest increase in government in our history has been in the past 7 years. There is nothing conservative about that. It’s nothing more than Rockefeller Republicans, who just say or take on any name that will get them elected.

    It’s not so much the system that makes you communism or fascist. It’s the amount of government control.

    And it seems to me, so many today are adopting the “better red than dead” philosophy. As they give away their freedoms and liberties for security. Hey folks, it’s the same damn thing.

  32. Robert Milnes Says:

    Delling, diehard. Give it up. Can’t you see even Steve, a hard core Ron Paul supporter from the get-go, is getting withdrawal symptoms & second thoughts. Steve, I’m glad you mentioned Knapp’s “cui bono” who benefits AND your “who suffers”. Who has been one of the most vehement complainers about the Ron Paul campaign from the get-go? ME! I started my campaign about 2003, in time for 2004 & mentioned what has evolved into “progressive alliance”. The original use of the word alliance that I heard was from Geoffrey Neale. I*n 2005 there was a fire in my house while I was on the other side of the country (I am generally a homebody). Then I got cheated out of the house under suspicious circumstances. Next thing I know everybody is jumping on the Ron Paul bandwagon. The progressive alliance, while further developing every day, is also neglected. So I took Tom’s bait also & I stand by it.

  33. Fred C. Says:

    Robert… you’ve been campaigning for the last 5 years but didn’t check the Green Party rules to make sure you could get half your plan in place?

    Also… how was your house burning down related to the Ron Paul campaign?

    More than ever, I’m not following you :(

  34. Robert Milnes Says:

    PS. Wes Benedict, I have some reservations about your politics, but LOL “master bait biter”.

  35. Richard Says:

    So maybe Romney ought to reengage his suspended campaign. :)
    I think the Republican party…wel, I already said what I think earlier.
    Conservatism is being ousted by minorities with outstretched hands…

  36. mketcher Says:

    Eric Dondero wrote:

    “With Ron Paul it’s always about the money. Follow the money trail and that will lead you to the truth.”

    Then why does he refuse to take part in the lucrative Congressional pension? Why does he return some of his congressional budget every year? Why, as a doctor, did he treat impoverished people for free or at a price they could afford? Why does he refuse to take congressional junkets? Dr. Paul is probably the poorest man in the presidential race. Anyone who has served 10 years in Congress and isn’t a multimillionaire has to be honest. Your statement doesn’t fit Dr. Paul’s character.

  37. Stephen Gordon Says:

    In my humble opinion, Mr. Gordon needs to either wake up and smell the coffee or start an Anal Expulsive Caucus for deluded Libertarians.

    Funny, but this one was even funnier:

    I guess that makes Steve Gordon the “Master Bait Biter.”

  38. mketcher Says:

    The LP has been going downhill ever since Ed Clark ran for governor of
    California on the LP ticket and got 5.5% of the vote. In all that time, the LP hasn’t grown, hasn’t gained in influence, and hasn’t attracted a younger crowd.

    Ron Paul changed all that. Go to a Ron Paul meetup group, and you’ll see lots of young people, as well as old people, rich people poor people—and even a large number of FEMALES (something that you would never find at an LP event). Ron Paul has brought lots of new blood into the libertarian movement. Whether these people choose to work through the LP, or the Republican Party, or decide to become anarchists and non-voters, who cares? There are more of us now than ever before, changing the culture and the political landscape, pushing the political establishment kicking and screaming towards freer society. It may not be the rEVOLution a lot of people were hoping for, but it is an evolution (even if Ron Paul doesn’t believe in the Darwinian model). Ron Paul has shown the rotten, corrupt political establishment—Republican and Democrat—a glimpse into the future … and they’re scared to death of what they see.

    I am sorry to see that among Ron Paul’s worst enemies in all this are other libertarians—particularly the libertarian “establishment”—the LP leadership, the Crane-Cato-Koch types, the Cosmos. I think what it boils down to is envy. Here these people have been working for decades to popularize and spread their own version of the libertarian gospel … and now this elderly country doctor and student of Rothbard’s and von Mises’ hardcore brand of libertarianism comes along and makes them look ridiculous, raising money and raising hell and re-invigorating the libertarian movement in ways they never imagined. So, they harebrained conspiracy theories and ancient manuscripts of unknown authorship to try to discredit the good doctor. I guess the figure that Dr. Paul’s success makes them look bad. I can’t see any other explanation for it.

  39. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Tom Knapp,

    I’m fully aware that you don’t actually believe this is what happened. I should have put the the word “theory” in quotation marks (I just edited them around the word).

    I read the Mayhew article today and simply thought you deserved the credit for being the first (that I know of) to raise the concept.

  40. Robert Milnes Says:

    Fred C., Thank you (I think) for asking. We’ve already discussed the green party rules re:nomination. My house did not burn down. It was my father’s house which I was in line to inherit. Only one room was significantly damaged. You can check out the photos on my att pwp. At issue is how the fire negatively affected my campaign. & how Ron Paul campaign negatively affected my campaign. “More than ever, I’m not following you.” evokes a frown? Now that RP/RP fantasy balloon is bust, what are your plans? Hint: the progressive alliance needs youthful smartasses.

  41. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Everybody,

    Let me make it clear that I don’t believe this conspiracy theory any more than I believe 9/11 ones. I don’t think the GOP could have pulled this off any more than I think the Feds could have pulled off 9/11.

    However, the articles highlighted the relationship between libertarians, Libertarians and Republicans. This relationship is something which needs to be looked at from time to time and I think the timing of the second article provided an appropriate avenue to do so.

  42. Stephen Gordon Says:

    I am sorry to see that among Ron Paul’s worst enemies in all this are other libertarians—particularly the libertarian “establishment”—the LP leadership, the Crane-Cato-Koch types, the Cosmos.

    You need to spend a bit less time reading LRC. I was at a Reason event in DC last night and a great deal of the people were wearing Ron Paul buttons. More of the people last night, although not wearing buttons (it wasn’t a political rally), support Paul.

    Aside from George Phillies, I don’t know of any LP leadership which has been an enemy of RP. Most have stayed quiet while wearing LP hats (with the exception of the controversial LNC resolution). In that case, they were criticized for being too nice to RP.

    If one would call me an LP leader, it would be hard to criticize me for not supporting RP —ask anyone who knows me or frequents this blog.

  43. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Phil Sawyer asks: In addition, what is with all the potty mouthing?

    The Wiki entry describing the episode and cultural implications is here.

  44. Stephen Gordon Says:

    It seems to me that any fracture of a mainstream party will pan-out beneficially for smaller political constituencies (like Libertarians).

    I hope you are correct. With the exception of very rare candidates (generally local), I’ve given up hope for the Dems and the Repubs.

  45. Stephen Gordon Says:

    The Ron Paul campaign has done more to promote libertarian ideas in the last year than the LP has done in the last 30 years.

    Also, the following article was written prior to the launch of RP ‘08 but I interested in hearing feedback…
    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=18555

    I generally agree with the first part. The only problem is that the libertarian movement may end up being a bit tainted by some of the negatives of the campaign, too. But in general, the statement is correct.

    With respect to Bartlett’s artice, Bob Barr and I just ran into him at CPAC. He tried to engage us in debate, but he was being combative and didn’t appear interested in reasonable debate. The average big government McCain supporter was more pleasant than Bartlett was. And the “small government” Romney supporters were absolutely nice to us. It’s a shame when allies fight each other more than the actual enemies do.

  46. Fred C. Says:

    Milnes: Sorry, I still disagree with you on most everything. You’re also in a state of imperfect communion with the Chair of St. Peter. Save your immortal soul before you try to save our country.

    I’m still sorting through my options for the rest of the election year. I probably won’t be making any decisions for another month.

  47. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Hey Gordon… Ya wanna Conspiracy Theory you can wrap your lips around like those smuggled Cubanos you posture with.. Okay, here goes….They want martial law….and their using the RP campaign to get a list of $200 or more donors…when it hits the and fan and its FEMA camp time, the names and addresses will be “high priority domestic terrorist threats” - they’ve used the RP campaign (and the public donors list) to “smoke us out” (pun intended)....

    That was pretty funny. Got some new Facebook pics coming up with some new cigar “postures”—but they ain’t Cubans, though.

  48. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Can’t you see even Steve, a hard core Ron Paul supporter from the get-go, is getting withdrawal symptoms & second thoughts. Steve, I’m glad you mentioned Knapp’s “cui bono” who benefits AND your “who suffers”.

    No withdrawal symptoms. Some criticism (and compliments) of the campaign, but not second thoughts.

    However, Super Tuesday is over and I live in a Super Tuesday state. There is little Ron Paul campaign for me anymore, so I can start looking more seriously into which LP candidate I’ll end up supporting.

    If the GOP starts seriously supporting libertarian candidates, I might go back to them. As long as they nominate people like John “Hundred Years” McCain-Feingold, there’s no room in that party for me—other than an occaisional local race or issue campaign that I can get on board.

    Hopefully, the movement will benefit and libertarians won’t suffer—but the jury is still out on that one.

  49. Don Lake Says:

    “See Gars ?????” Like Texas Hold Em Governor Wanna Be, the Jewish Cow Boy Kinky Friedman ??????????

  50. Eric Dondero Says:

    Fred, sorry. I should have been more specific. I was talking about then Governor George W. Bush. Karl Rove and Royal Massette at the time were the two honchos on the political front here in Texas for Bush. The Ron Paul campaign had many meetings and contacts with them after we won the Primary run-off over Laughlin.

    I myself, had two phone conversations with Karl Rove. I’ll never forget them. He was quite pleasant and easy to deal with. Very insightful. Nothing like the TV persona that the media has made for him; “the evil Karl Rove” and so forth.

  51. Eric Dondero Says:

    If you all are looking to a conspiracy theory regarding Ron Paul, and whose behind his campaign, I’d look more towards the John Birch Society. Paul has always been tied to the hip with the Birchers. His very best friend and life mentor in Lake Jackson, a Doctor, is a hardcore Bircher. Also, his top fundraiser for the last 20 years David Mertz (goes by David James), is hardcore JBS too.

    The base of Ron’s fundraising operation has always been with the JBS, particularly out of Dallas, Utah, and Northern Virginia.

    Want to really understand Ron Paul? Follow the money. Always follow the money. With Ron Paul there’s just one simple rule: It’s all about the money.

  52. Eric Dondero Says:

    Mkethcher,

    You say Ron Paul is the “poorest man in the Presidential race”. You sure about that?

    Ron Paul’s wealth is in Real Estate. It’s not easy to track. He’s quite clever. And has a lot of CPAs and Lawyers surrounding him. Catch my drift?

  53. William Cole Says:

    Gee, I didn’t think it was as much about masturbation as the aftermath of copulation. As weak as a presidential vote is, it does influence the electoral college. That said, who’s baby do you want to be held responsible for? It’s true, with so many in the pool it’s kinda hard to say who’s responsible. But we know who we voted for and which electoral college vote we influenced. So, if you are interested in individual liberty, vote Ron Paul, vote Libertarian or don’t vote at all. Contrary to popular belief a vote for George Phillies is just a vote for George Phillies. It’s not a vote for Hillary/Obama or John “lunatic” McCain. And a vote not cast can be considered a boycott of a corrupt system.

  54. timothy west Says:

    “I am sorry to see that among any libertarian minded person’s worst enemies in all this are other libertarians—particularly the libertarian “establishment”.”

    Fixed it for you.

  55. rj Says:

    My personal opinion is this:

    “libertarian” is more important than “Libertarian”

    just as some radio commentators believe “conservative” is more important than “Republican”

  56. rj Says:

    And let me add the opinion that Republicans don’t give a s*** about libertarians…or Libertarians. Libertarians in 2004 were 0.35% of the vote, big f***ing deal.

    Anyone that saw the treatment of Ron Paul by the various state parties, Fox News, and other candidates can see Republicans don’t care about us. According to the typical Republican, the only thing libertarians have right is their view on “taxes”, everything else has always been ignored. And of course, the Republicans gave a bunch of tax cuts during G.W. Bush’s terms.

  57. Sean Scallon Says:

    Did you hear Pat Buchanan was sent by Karl Rove to destroy the Reform Party too? Man that Rove doesn’t like competition. I wonder who he’s going to send to destroy the Constitution Party.

    Sheesh!

    Aside from conspiracy theories, if anything Ron Paul announcement helps the LP. Now they don’t have to wait around to see what he’s going to do, they can pick their nominee this spring and go forward from there with ballot access and so forth and presumably with the help of RP supporters. After all, RP’s national camapaign has been suspended and the only thing left to do is to trying and pick up delegates in state conventions. Why can’t his supporters do both?

    The LP can very well exist as a party for local and statewide races. There’s nothing the Republicans can do to stop this anymore than the Democrats can stop the Greens from existing to cost them statewide races as well. As I said, the biggest impact Ron Paul’s camapaign will have is to focus the priorities of the non-majority parties like the CP and LP towards local and state races and leaving national races to the majors while at the same time allowing their activists to pick a candidate that best represents their views, like Ron Paul.

    That’s the way to go.

  58. Dodsworth Says:

    “He’s quite clever”

    Eric Dondero, Ron Paul fan!

  59. Sean Scallon Says:

    Yes the GOP establishment has been so welcoming to Ron Paul. In fact, in Louisiana they’ve been so helpful, they went and invalidated the votes of 500 of his supporters from the party caucuses and cost them 12 convention delegates. Then in Washington, the local GOP there was so nice that they stopped counting the vote altogether during Saturday’s caucuses and delacred McCain the winner just like that even though Spokane’s results, where Paul had won 49% of the vote, were not included in the final totals yet.

    Yep they’ve certainly put out the welcome mat.

  60. Susan Hogarth Says:

    SG writes:

    However, the articles highlighted the relationship between libertarian, Libertarians and Republicans. This relationship is something which needs to be looked at from time to time …

    Absolutely. The LP needs to disassociate itself from the Republican Party as much as possible. We will not accomplish that by openly offering support to candidates running in Republican primaries and by placing folks openly fund raising for Republican candidates on our national committee.

  61. Robert Milnes Says:

    Fred C., Is the “C.” for “Catholic”? Translation from mongrelized dogma to English, please.

  62. Fred C. Says:

    Every letter in my name is for “Catholic.”

    “If I were asked to choose between these two churches, I could not. I would either alternate attendance between both or choose a non-denominational Christian church.”

    I’m wondering if this might be the root cause of your desire to bring the LP and GP together, and why you don’t quite fit into either. Embrace Rome - Free market philosophy will then follow from your reason, even if not from your bishop.

  63. Uther Says:

    forget the presidency, look at what the Ron Paul fans are doing to the Alaska GOP:

    http://www.dailypaul.com/node/36385

    quote:

    Another Ron Paul supporter proposed striking out and replacing a section that said something to the effect of: “The Republican Party of Alaska supports the aggressive world wide war on terror and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” The replacement that PASSED read something like: “We will not support military intervention in a foreign country unless a constitutional, congressional declaration of war is made.” How HUGE is that?

    And perhaps the craziest win of the day, in my opinion, was when we passed a movement to change the party platform to read that we, as Republicans, support the legalization of industrial hemp. LOL!

    Lots of other awesome platform changes passed, having to do with state’s rights, educational choice, and immigration. Everything was in line with the Ron Paul platform, and pretty Libertarian sounding!

    The other conventions that took place elsewhere today and earlier in the week have also reported high numbers of Ron Paul delegates to the state convention, and similar interesting successes at their local level. It really looks to me like we can go to the state convention and ENACT some extremely controversial party platform changes! It would be so great to see the neo-cons have to run independent for failing to endorse the Republican Party platform, and so great to see them squirm in terror when they realize that RON PAUL has TAKEN OVER THEIR PARTY!

  64. mketcher Says:

    Eric Dondero asks:

    Mkethcher,

    You say Ron Paul is the “poorest man in the Presidential race”. You sure about that?

    Ron Paul’s wealth is in Real Estate. It’s not easy to track. He’s quite clever. And has a lot of CPAs and Lawyers surrounding him. Catch my drift?

    My answer:

    What I said was that “he’s probably the poorest man in the presidential race.” That was just a guesstimate. Below is the actual listing. Out of those currently remaining in the race, he’s still a little above Huckabee and Obama, but way below Hillary and McCain.

    The list below—at the end of this post—was pulled from financial disclosure statements that the candidates filed. The following Washington Post article, which discusses the candidates’ net worth, has links to the disclosure documents filed with the FEC:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/16/AR2007051600811.html

    One has to wonder how McCain and Hillary, both of whom have spent much of their careers in civil service jobs, have amassed such huge fortunes. Ron Paul’s $2.3 million is not really that out-of-line for a 72-year-old physician who has invested his money well. Indeed, most of his listed investments are gold and natural resource companies, which have done quite well the past few years.

    There are a couple of property company’s listed on his financial disclosure statement, so he may have some real estate holdings that don’t appear as an exact figure in the disclosure statement. However, some of the other candidates also have items that raise questions (Edwards has a Cayman Island company for some of his investments, for example). All of the candidates have access to the same lawyers and accountants as Ron Paul does. When you compare Ron Paul’s $2.3 million to McCain’s $40 million or Hillary’s $35 million, it has to raise some eyebrows.

    Given the hatred of Ron Paul by so much of the big political, media, and financial establishments, it would be very unwise for him to try to hide information from the FEC. I’m sure the same people who bankrolled the dredging up of those ancient and obscure newsletters would love to be able to attack Dr. Paul on any shady—or even questionable—financial dealings.

    Since, according to disclosure statements filed with the FEC, Dr. Paul really doesn’t receive much financial support from people affiliated with the big special interest groups, it’s doubtful that he would have much to hide. It’s far more likely that the other candidates—who grovel embarassingly before every special interest group they can—have much more to hide than Dr. Paul.

    Candidates ranked by estimated Net Worth

    Mitt Romney R $202,000,000
    John Edwards D $55,000,000
    Rudy Giuliani R $52,000,000
    John McCain R $40,000,000
    Hillary Clinton D $35,000,000
    Fred Thompson R $8,000,000
    Bill Richardson D $6,600,000
    Christopher Dodd D $2,400,000
    Ron Paul R $2,300,000
    Duncan Hunter R $1,500,000
    Barack Obama D $1,300,000
    Tom Tancredo R $800,000
    Mike Huckabee R $700,000
    Dennis Kucinich D $300,000
    Mike Gravel D $250,000
    Joe Biden D $93,000

  65. Tony Torres Says:

    Stephen,

    I’m doing neither. I left the LP over its support of Paul and refusal to condemn the newsletters. I’m voting for Obama if he gets the Dem nomination to hopefully bring about a change in Washington (in approach and attitude, if not in policies) and to hopefully finally kill the modern war-mongering, religious fundamentalist, big government GOP. If Hillary gets the Dem nomination, I’ll vote for divided government instead, which is likely how I’m gonna vote in the future. Bartlett may have been rude to you, but I think he’s right about interest groups being the way to go.

  66. mketcher Says:

    Stephen Gordon wrote

    I am sorry to see that among Ron Paul’s worst enemies in all this are other libertarians—particularly the libertarian “establishment”—the LP leadership, the Crane-Cato-Koch types, the Cosmos.

    You need to spend a bit less time reading LRC. I was at a Reason event in DC last night and a great deal of the people were wearing Ron Paul buttons. More of the people last night, although not wearing buttons (it wasn’t a political rally), support Paul.

    My response:

    I was basing that statement on my own non-scientific survey of blog posts and articles I’ve read concerning RP on various sites (although I do like LRC).

    For example, the only people who seem to care about the old newsletter story anymore seem to be libertarians. Even the mainstream media, Fox, etc. never really ran very far with the story, but it still regularly appears on some of the libertarian blogs.

    I agree with you that if you go to an a Reason event or even a Cato event, you’ll see lots of Ron Paul supporters. I was speaking more on the leadership of those organizations, rather than their readers or supporters. At best, the leadership of such organizations or publications have been lukewarm towards RP. And when I see people under the Cato umbrella supporting the war, the drug war, Bernanke, and government spying, it makes me want to puke. These people can’t seem to make up their minds whether they want to support libertarian ideas or reject them.

  67. Dave Williams Says:

    Awesome read! We’ve all had to take a bite out of a turd sandwich in our lives…almost every time I used to vote for a GOP candidate…no more

    I’ve found a man that has a fire in his belly. Go here www.rootforamerica.com and watch the 5 video segments of Wayne’s speech addressing the CLC. It will take about 40 minutes on broadband. Check out his platform & read his blog. I was blown away by this guy. His passion for Freedom is insurmountable. It may take a few years for him to make it, but I think the old football saying “Hey diddle diddle, ROOT up the middle.” is the strategy that will eventually defeat both major political parties. The 2 party system is a joke. Check it out, then, join the W.A.R. Wayne Allyn Root, Libertarian for President. FISCAL CONSERVATIVE, DEFENSE CONSERVATIVE, SOCIALLY TOLERANT.

  68. R.T. Says:

    I don’t know what everybody else is doing this year, but I do know what I’ll be doing. I’ll continue to work my precinct for Ron Paul for the Kentucky primary in May. I’ll also run to be a delegate to the GOP Convention in September. I may be forced to hold my nose and vote for McCain on the first ballot, but I know who I’ll be voting for if there’s a second. Meanwhile there are all those platform votes. In November I’ll pull the lever for the most libertarian/conservative candidates on the ballot, reguardless of the party designation. As for the future, that depends on how things go in Minnesota, but the LP and CP are starting to look better and better.

    R.T.

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